Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11 - Ephesians 3

Today's reading in our daily plan is Ephesians 3. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Originally, God's covenant was with the Jews. However, God reveals to Paul and the other apostles and prophets that because of Jesus, everyone can know and have a relationship with God. Now all of humanity can share in God's promise. This was shocking news back then.
  • Jesus made it possible for all people to know God, and Paul was specifically chosen to bring this news to the Gentiles, the Jews neighbors. Paul makes it clear that we can all approach God with freedom and confidence.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross we can freely and confidently approach God. It doesn't matter who we are, where we've been, or what our nationality is. We don’t have to jump through hoops or clean up our act to know God because the punishment for our sins was given to Jesus on the cross. We can be sure God will listen intently to us because he made us his daughters and sons through Jesus. Because of what Jesus has done for us, we are loved by God perfectly, can know God personally, talk with him freely, and live in his kingdom forever.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you feel free to approach God?  Why or why not? Are you confident that God loves and cherishes you? He does. He showed us how much He loves us when He came to live with us and then took our place on the cross. But the key question is, do you believe it? We live our lives according to who we believe we are. And it’s possible to confess one identity but live another. Everybody struggles with this! Take some time in the coming days to focus on who God says you are. If you need a refresher, read Galatians 3:26-4:7. If you believe you're worthless then you will live carelessly, but if you believe you are a daughter or son of the creator and king of the universe, loved with a love that surpasses knowledge, then you will live life to the full.